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Alabama 495 articles

Honda urges consumers to fix Takata airbags immediately

Honda Takata airbags

Honda plans to launch a multi-million dollar ad campaign to urge owners of Honda and Acura automobiles with possibly defective Takata airbags to have them fixed as soon as possible. Honda and nine other automakers have recalled millions of affected vehicles. The airbags, manufactured by Takata, a Japanese manufacturer, are at risk of tearing loose from their mountings and blasting shrapnel into the passenger compartment. Five deaths have been tied to the faulty airbags, specifically within Honda vehicles. Honda’s ad campaign will urge “Honda and Acura owners to immediately check for open recalls and safety improvement campaigns, and to take ... Read More

Alabama plant explosion kills one, injures several others

plant explosion - Brent Ala - photo by Alabama 13 News

Multiple giant explosions at a rural Alabama cleaning and recycling plant killed one worker and injured several others Monday afternoon, leaving fires that continued to burn in outlying buildings and an 18-wheeler through the night and into Thursday afternoon. Authorities in the Bibb County said that the first blast occurred inside the Brent Industries facility around 1:45 p.m., setting off a chain of other blasts that rocked the small communities of Brent and Centreville like an earthquake. The plant explosion killed one worker, identified by police and family members as 35-year-old Keith Leverette. Six other workers present in the company’s facilities ... Read More

Janssen ordered to pay $136 million for Risperdal illegal marketing


The South Carolina Supreme Court has ordered Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen Pharmacetuicals to pay $136 million to the state for deceptively marketing its antipsychotic drug Risperdal. The decision upholds penalties against the company but reduces the damages, which were originally set at $327 million by a trial court in 2011. Justices said the penalty had to be reduced because of South Carolina’s three-year statute of limitations. Risperdal, known generically as risperidone, is used to treat adults and children with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and irritability with autism. The drug has also been prescribed off label to treat attention deficit hyperactivity ... Read More

Whistleblower exposes potential fraud against Arizona electricity consumers


Arizona electricity consumers could challenge rate hikes for electrical service in light of a whistleblower’s allegations that a former commissioner of the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) got “too cozy” with the head of the state’s largest electricity provider. The whistleblower, a former executive assistant at the ACC, made numerous allegations in the letter concerning an improper relationship between former commissioner Gary Pierce and Arizona Public Service CEO Don Brandt. Mr. Pierce was one of the five commissioners who set electricity rates that Arizona residents must pay before he retired in December. The letter was sent to the Arizona Attorney General’s ... Read More

Judge allows new expert for plaintiffs in Risperdal gynecomastia lawsuit


A Philadelphia State judge rejected Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Janssen Pharmaceutical attorney’s claims that the company was prejudiced by a new expert witness for plaintiffs in a lawsuit alleging Janssen’s antipsychotic drug Risperdal caused a boy to grow large female breasts. The condition is known as gynocomastia. Defense attorneys argued that Janssen had been disadvantaged by the new expert’s testimony, which contained different opinions than those of a previous expert witness. The previous witness suddenly withdrew from the case after defense attorneys accused the doctor of failing to comply with state law when he examined the plaintiff in his home state ... Read More

Alabama fireworks factory explosion kills two workers, injures four others


OWENS CROSS ROADS, Ala. — A north Alabama fireworks factory explosion Friday morning that left two women dead and four other employees injured was not the first deadly blast at the plant. Family members of some of the victims of Friday’s explosion condemned Ultratec Special Effects for its poor history of worker safety. The plant, which produces pyrotechnic special effects and displays for movies, concerts, and other events, was racked by another explosion in 1999 that killed one person. Aimee Cothran Bearden’s family told Huntsville’s WHNT that “Aimee was killed doing a job she was dedicated to, because she was ... Read More

Alabama auto parts manufacturer fined after worker falls into acid tank


PELL CITY, Ala. — “Imagine being on the job and suddenly you are horrifically injured,” a report by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) states. “Adding to your pain, you learn later company management knew of the hazards that injured you and did nothing to stop [them] from happening.” OSHA, the U.S. Labor Department agency charged with regulating worker safety and health, is alluding to what happened to a maintenance worker at WKW Erbsloeh North America’s plant in Pell City, Alabama. WKW manufactures aluminum parts for the auto industry. According to OSHA, the maintenance worker was helping to maintain some ... Read More

Judge shoots down mistrial bid by Janssen in Risperdal gynecomastia lawsuit


A Pennsylvania state judge rejected a bid for a mistrial this week from Johnson & Johnson unit Janssen Pharmaceuticals in a lawsuit alleging the company’s antipsychotic drug Risperdal caused an adolescent boy to grow large female breasts. Attorneys for Janssen argued that a mistrial was warranted because plaintiff’s attorneys were trying to pass off an expert witness to testify about Risperdal side effects when that expert, a physician in Pennsylvania, was not licensed in Alabama, where the plaintiffs lived and where physician had examined the boy. The physician, Dr. David Goldstein, had opted to withdraw from the Risperdal gynecomastia lawsuit ... Read More

Janssen knew Risperdal could cause boys to grow breasts


Johnson & Johnson unit Janssen Pharmaceuticals knew for years that its antipsychotic drug Risperdal could cause the abnormal growth of breasts in boys and young men, yet the company failed to warn the mother of an Alabama boy or his doctors of these “distressing results,” the mother’s attorney told a Philadelphia jury. “We’re going to show you that Janssen knew all the time that he took the drug that the drug caused an increase in prolactin levels, and that it was associated with children and adolescents having this distressing result,” the attorney said. Austin Pledger, now 20, was prescribed Risperdal ... Read More

Texas becomes latest state to ban Trinity ET-Plus guardrails

guard-rail - KCPQ-TV image

Texas has become the latest state to ban the use of ET-Plus guardrail systems made by Dallas-based Trinity Industries from its highways over safety concerns, bringing the number of states to blacklist the guardrails to more than 30. The ET-Plus guardrails, made by the Trinity Highway Products division of Trinity Industries, came under fire nationwide after a whistleblower sued the company on behalf of the federal government and won. In his lawsuit, whistleblower Joshua Harman alleged that Trinity modified the design of the ET-Plus guardrails in 2005 to save money, but failed to notify the Federal Highway Administration about the ... Read More